My friend Denise decided a couple years back that she was fed up with carrying around excess weight and did something about it. She lost (I’m not sure about the exact number, but something close to) 50 pounds and became the fittest, most enthusiastic exerciser I know. She works with a trainer on a regular basis, she’s completed multiple high-endurance races – triathlons, bike races, foot races, etc. She lifts weights and squats heavy enough to put most men I know to shame. To be honest I am somewhat intimidated by her level of fitness so of course I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to run with her! If only to push my own limits. Plus she’s a lot of fun.
We were both on vacation this weekend at a house on the coast. Sunday morning she announced she was going for a run and I announced I was going too, and she graciously agreed to me tagging along. I know I’m slower than her and I told her so, but we seemed to work it out – I think she slowed her pace a little and I sped up a little and we did a 35-40 minute run. I didn’t know the route but she’d run it before. I found it was very hilly, and I don’t have any hills on my usual running routes.
I was dying, there were several points as we chugged up a hill that I thought, “Boy, if I were alone I would totally stop and walk for a bit to the top here” but there was NO WAY I was going to stop and walk. I aspire to be as committed and focused as Denise, and I believe that the only way to GET focused and committed to is to ACT focused and committed. I am a big believer in “fake it till you make it” – the actions that you take become your behaviors and mindset, regardless of whether you feel it in the beginning or not. You can test this out by putting a smile on your face when you don’t feel happy. Eventually that smile will work its way inside.
So I powered on and finished the run with my friend. As we walk back up the driveway I thought, “Wow, I’m wiped out and she looks delightfully refreshed. I need to work more hills into my regular runs – that’s how I get there.”
It was a fun, challenging run filled with laughter and conversation (her mostly, me when we were going downhill), and a great reminder to me – I need to do the behaviors I want to see more of in me. If I want to be more fit, I need to do “more fit” things until I am. And maybe workout with a friend more often so I can find some inspiration from the things that people I know are doing so very, very right. We are all surrounded by people who are walking their weight management path in a different way, and I find that sometimes the best way to pick up new tools is to tag along with someone who inspires you and see what they are doing right.
Also, my legs are pleasantly sore today.